FAT BLOKE THIN BOOK - Arturo Bassick (116 pages)
I think Arturo Bassick, mainstay of the LURKERS and bassist in 999, would be the first to admit that he himself is not a ‘Punk Legend’ per se. Who Arturo is, is someone who was there when Punk hit in ‘77 and has been playing away in Punk bands in clubs, pubs and halls around the world ever since for one reason: the sheer love of it. As a bonus, he has contributed to some damn fine albums along the way. He is also one of the most affable and likable guys you’re ever likely to meet. Get the picture? Art’s a good guy and this book demonstrates his wit with suitable aplomb.
Arturo doesn’t hide anything here. The book takes us back to his birth in 1956 with relatively detailed insight into his parents and school life and leads on to a horrific spell in hospital. When writing about his musical tastes, it’s also refreshing to read that his discovery of Punk is not treated as a ‘Year Zero’ moment as so many seem to eulogise about - although his early obsession with THE STRANGLERS certainly proved to be a precursor to his love of Punk. Arturo was heavily into music long before Punk - although it is with the formation of the LURKERS that the book really takes off. From there he continues through PIN POINT, the BLUBBERY HELLBELLIES, 999 and finally full-circle back to the reformation of THE LURKERS. There’s plenty of hilarious stories, opinions and the classic good-natured Arturo charm.
Running alongside the music are details of his private life including his love of retired racing Greyhounds, his attempt at a horse-drawn tourism venture in the north of England, a few political and personal observations and many other anecdotal incidents.
Not only has this got an excellent, concise text in which Arturo has packed a wealth of information, but the book is interspred with reviews, interviews and news clippings from the music press of the day. Again, Arturo has given the negative reviews as much space as the positive and these cuttings lend greater factual sincerity to an already very impressive book. It’s all rounded off with an Arturo discography and ‘Favourite Things’ listings.
The book is also published in true DIY fashion via Arturo’s very own Bassick Publications.
It’s not pretentious or self-aggrandising book, the story flows in a way that makes the reader want to continue reading, it’s funny and factual and, as would be expected, Punk personalities aplenty get mentioned. For anyone who is into ‘77 Punk, this comes as a highly recommended read.